There is nothing left
to burn so I put my finger tips
in the flame.
Like a fishhook inserting
itself into me I can feel
every tooth I've ever lost – every
receding gum – I am a body born
from memory. I read somewhere
baby teeth do not fall out
until they let go of their roots.
My father once pulled my front
fang out with his fist when he was angry.
He – They – did not give me the luxury
of letting my baby teeth unhand themselves.
My mother used to say the fuzz
on top of my curls shined like
a halo in the Florida light. Though she may protest,
I know I am no saint. She does not know
how many Plan B’s I have struggled
to open with my car keys outside of
our neighborhood CVS. The weeks I starved the
devil that rests an inch above my belly button until
I did not see a glop of chestnut-
colored mucus in my faint-colored rose panties for six
months straight. Now, every month I bleed
the color of Saint Anne’s veil, though I will never be
the Mother of Mary, or a mother to any unlucky
child, not if I keep tearing the flesh between my thighs
like a mother digging up her child’s grave to feel
less lonely in her grief. Years ago, I watched as I bled a milky
pink – I cried into my sheets because I could not bury
blood-clots. Now I pray to Mary and that implant
in my upper left arm because I am not sure if
I can survive anymore pain. Awhile back I got a tattoo
of the Lady of Guadalupe on my thigh. Her hands
in prayer, her head close to my pussy lips
so she can witness every sin I let crawl inside me.
She is positioned right where you touched me after you
ignored my protests. I hoped the ink would erase
your DNA but I read somewhere it takes seven years
for cells to refresh and at this rate I'll be dead
before I'll ever be untouched.
Sophia Ivey is a current MFA candidate at North Carolina State University for Poetry. They have been published in numerous places, including The Oakland Arts Review, Outrageous Fortune, and Ghost City Press. Her poetry revolves around the environment of Southern America, generational trauma, gender perception, and their queerness and disabilities. Sophia just ended an internship at Blair Publishing and works part-time as a Marketing Coordinator, but in their free time he enjoys researching native plants in the area. They are also a big fan of bugs.